The mofo guide to shiraz blends
Shiraz, or syrah as it's also known, is a grape that's seen a lot of action in the wine world and gets a lot of attention here at Vinomofo. It's bold, complex, and just plain delicious. But sometimes, a grape needs a partner to surprise you with what it can do, giving you something different in your glass that’ll defy expectations and make you do a double take. That's where shiraz blends come in. Here's the need-to-know guide for the top ones.
We’ll kick off with perhaps the most famed blend in Australia, the shiraz-cabernet sauvignon. You might have also heard of it being used in a little known wine that rhymes with “Grenfolds Pange”. It's like a buddy cop movie, with shiraz bringing the rich fruit and spice, and cabernet sauvignon keeping things grounded with its blackcurrant, herbal notes and tannic structure. The result is a full-bodied wine that’s typically noted for its dark fruit, texture and spice - it’s a one-two prize combo that lands every time.
A classic blend of the Côtes du Rhône, where viognier is enlisted to lift shiraz and bring aromatics and florals, it’s notably employed in regions like Australia and Argentina to add levity to big, hearty shiraz. Expect a full-bodied but elegant and smooth drop, with flavours of dark fruit, spice, and potentially a hint of zest or apricot from the viognier.
Check out: El Enemigo Syrah Viognier 2019
Always a winner around these parts; the shiraz-grenache blend. It's got that pepper and spice you’d expect from shiraz, but also the dried herbs and plush fruits you’d expect from grenache. Expect medium to full-bodied wines with flavours of blue, red and black fruits, and that tell-tale shiraz spice.
For a more intense affair, check out a shiraz-mataro (or mourvèdre) blend. The intensity and richness of shiraz meets the layered and nuanced richness of mataro. Expect a full-bodied wine that’s more savoury than its shiraz-grenache cousin with heaps of depth to dive into.
A supergroup of a blend; originating in the Southern Rhone as GSM (notably in Châteauneuf-Du-Pape), winemakers in Australia have been tweaking the line-up to give centre stage to the grape that’s at the forefront of Australian winemaking, producing hit after hit. Expect wines ranging from medium-to-full bodied with a range of flavours to dive into and discover with every sip - from dried provence herbs, to plush red and dark fruits, through to the savoury, meaty notes that mataro brings to the stage. It’s like all your favourite musicians on stage, performing your new favourite song. You’ll be singing its praises with every sip.
Check out: Seppeltsfield ‘No. EC403’ Barossa GSM 2020
Shiraz - delicious on its own, though capable of finding another, decadent level with the right dancing partner.